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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  August 27, 2013 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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the administration has little doubt that it was the regime of assad. we're waiting to find out when they might release this information that they have that would, we believe, according to what officials are telling us be the proof that would show that assad's people -- >> i'm going to interrupt you. we join the white house briefing. >> she's all anybody needs around here. the biggest brain in the shop. good afternoon. thank you for being here. i have no announcements to make at the top of this briefing. i'll go straight to julie pace. >> thank you. >> has the president made any decision in the last 24 hours or so on what the u.s. response to the syrian chemical weapons attack? >> the president continues to work with his national security team reviews the options available to him and when he has
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made a decision and has an announcement to make he'll make it. that process continues. >> he's not made a decision at this point? >> correct. >> there's a lot of speculation this this report would link assad to the chemical weapons attack. can you give us an update on timing? >> yesterday i made clear that the intelligence community is working on an assessment. we'll provide information to the public about it in the coming days. that remains true. that speculation it would come today rather than some other day. i think you can expect it this week. let me also say and i think that both secretary kerry and i attempted to make clear yesterday that there is no doubt here that chemical weapons were used on a massive scale on
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august 21st outside of damascus. there is also very little doubt and should be no doubt for anyone who approaches this logically that the syrian regime is responsible for the u.s. of chemical weapons on august 21st outside of damascus. we have established with a high degree of confidence that the syrian regime has used chemical weapons already in this conflict. we have made clear it's our firmest assessment that the syrian regime has maintained control of the stockpile of the weapons in syria. it's also the case that the syrian regime has the rocket capacity to deliver the chemical weapons as they were delivered with repugnant results on august 21st outside of damascus.
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so, the deliberations that are taking place now and the options that are being considered by the president and his national security team are not around the question of whether or not chemical weapons were used in syria on a significant scale causing mass death and injury to innocent civilians, to women and children. it's not around the question of whether or not the syrian regime is responsible. it's around the question what is the appropriate response to this clear violation of international norms. >> is your expectation that the report will provide some type of evidence that clearly shows beyond talking all these pieces that we know and inferring this must be the assad regime, it must be tangible evidence? >> there will be more information we can give to you from the intelligence community, but this is not just an
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inference. this is not just the u.s. government asserting it. i think you saw the statement from the arab league and multiple eyewitness accounts, video accounts. you've seen statements from independent organizations working in syria like doctors without borders. some of your colleague who is are risking their lives to cover this story in syria have provided substantial confirmation of what occurred on august 21st. so, what the president is engaged in is a process of deciding, as we consults with international allies and his administration consults with congress about what the appropriate response to this flagrant violation of international norms should be. >> british prime minister david co cameron is recalling parliament this week. is it fair to say that president obama is not going to recall
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congress to seek some type of similar measure before proceeding? >> first of all, i don't want to engage in speculation about a course of action that's not been decided upon. when the president has an announcement to make, he'll make it. as this process is undertaken, we're consulting directly with house and senate leaders in congress. we're consulting with the leadership of relevant committees and other members who have a keen interest in this manner. i think you've seen that documents by some members who have spoken to it. that process will continue. we think it's important that the consultation process take place in a matter like this at such gravity. we're also as we have made clear engaging with our international partners as a substantial list of communications that the
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secretary of state has had and the president has had consultations with canadian prime minister harper today and in recent days with british prime minister. i would anticipate the president will continue to make calls to his counterparts throughout the week. when it comes to processes, which goes to your question, it predisposes a course of action that hasn't been decided on. >> the fact that cameron is in a position to recall his parliament -- >> let me make a broad statement. this is a different country with a different form of government. >> the fact he's in position to take this step on thursday seems to indicate something has been decided. >> nothing has been decided as i said in response to your first question. we're in direct contact with prime minister cameron and his government and the president has spoken with the prime minister
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as he had with other foreign leaders and those consultations will continue. we share the views of the british bovt about the apuling n appalling nature that occurred. yes. >> you're very firm in saying just now that there's little doubt that the syrian regime was, in fact, responsible for this chemical attack. in that context, what's the purpose of this progress report? is it to get rid of remaining doubt. >> i'm not aware of any doubt that exists. i think that maybe if you take bashar al-assad seriously on these issues you might have doubt. but there's no evidence to suggest he has any credibility about the use of chemical
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weapons in syria. the actions taken in the immediate aftermath of this heinous attack demonstrate his lack of credibility. we believe that a careful review of the facts leads to the conclusion that the regime was behind this. again, it's undeniable that chemical weapons were used on large scale. we know that the regime maintains custody of the chemical weapons in syria and uses the types of rockets that were used to deliver chemical weapons on august 21st. the opposition does not. we also know that the opposition does not have the cap abilities that the syrian regime has. we have had an assessment by the intelligence community with a high degree of confidence they have useused, on a smaller scal chemical weapons already.
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suggestions that there's doubt about this are as preposterous as the attack itself didn't happen. >> senator hagel said if any action is taken and within the frame work of justification. is any legal justification lacking prior to any action by the united states on this, and does the international community need any further convincing? >> i'm not going to make legal justifications for actions that haven't been decided upon. when the president makes a decision about what the appropriate response for the united states is, we will and he will provide ample context for the decision that he makes. prior to that i'm not going to speculate about what that context will be because an announcement has not been made and a decision is pending as the president and his team review the options available to them.
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>> finally, postpone with russia talks in the hague. russia calls out regrettable. what is the united states trying to communicate to russia about syria that it should accept a military response that should not stand in the way or object? what are we trying to communicate to russia? >> the meeting that you mentioned is postponed, not c cancelled. we're engaged in the process of a political resolution to this conflict. we've stated there is no military solution available here. the way to bring about a better future in syria is through negotiation and a political resolution. it's our firm belief that bashar al al-assad has fore saken any leader to succeed. we will continue to engage in
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all the many ways that we have in an effort to bring about that s reconciliation or that process. >> i want to bring in wolf blitzer and jill dougherty. jay said there's no doubt chemical weapons were used outside of damascus and little doubt that the syrian regime was responsible for that and they had the cape ability to deliver those. >> he did say that the intelligence report would be released. he said it could come this week. obviously, it could mean it still could come today or tomorrow. he did say this week. i think they're going through it. they're scrubbing it. they want to make sure that everything is rite.
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they don't want any blunders or no embarrassment that maybe some of the intelligence isn't accurate. they're going through that. i think they want to get all their diplomatic ducks in a row to make sure the nato allies are on woord. whoever is going to support the u.s. in whatever it does if it's la a limited cruise missile strike. they're working through the process. you heard jay carney say the president still consulting with his top national security advisors and world leaders. no final decision has been made. >> i want to bring you into this as well. you cover the white house and also covered the state department. explain to us the importance of those phone calls that the president has made to the leaders of the canada and britain and france. is this something the united states feels it can do without the approval of the u.n.
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security council. >> they're not going to be get it. russia and china. they do need other countries, as many as possible, to sign onto this and endorse it and to help. that's one of the things they're trying to do right now. they have support from the number of countries as you might expect. france, u.k., canada, saudia arab arabia. they want to make sure they have the information correct. you know, when you give intelligence information, there's a chance that you can say how you got it. where did that information come from? this information came from u.s. sources but also from international sources which have been kind of unnamed. they want to make sure that they don't say too much but they would like to say enough to convince people that they have a
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definitively that the regime used those chemical weapons. you heard it from carney several times. they have no doubt. >> wolf, i want do you button this up for us here. there's a protocol that's involved when there's a potential military strike when we engage in this type of action here. i imagine the president has a very short window here. he's going to be giving a speech for the 50th anniversary on washington, but he's also leaving town early next week. do we expect within that window perhaps of five days that we might see the president come out and make a statement and that military action might actually move forward? >> i suspect that we will see exactly that. tomorrow he's giving the major speech on the 50th anniversary. that will preoccupy him even though he's having all these national security meetings in the white house situation room.
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he's on the phone with all of these world leaders. he will deliver that speech tomorrow. i wouldn't be surprised if later in the week we hear directly from the president. he tells us. he's consulted with the leadership of the house and senate. he's consulted with nato allies and regional leaders and the u.s. will go forward with some sort of limited strike. it should last probably a day or two. as pointed out, it will be awkward when he goes off to st. petersburg, russia for the 20-g summit. it will be an awkward moment unless he decide, and i have no reason he will, i'm not going to st. petersburg, i'll send the vice president. this will get testy. this is the no going to be easy
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for the u.s. and the russians given their very different stance on what's happened. >> awkward to say the least. thank you. i want you to join us tomorrow for "around the world" special. this is on syria. we'll have cnn anchors and reporters, contributors to discuss possible u.s. military action in syria. how it's impacting countries around the world and what it means for us at home. we'll be right back after a quick break. so you can get out of your element. so you can explore a new frontier and a different discipline. get two times the points on travel and dining at restaurants from chase sapphire preferred. so you can be inspired by great food once again. chase sapphire preferred. so you can.
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a massive wildfire in yosemite national park is growing bigger. here is what we're seeing now. more than 160,000 acres have burned mostly around the western edge of the park. warm, dry conditions are fueling the flames and could be around for days to come. the fire only about 20% contained. that's up from roughly 7% yesterday. there are 3700 firefighters with boots on the ground battling those flames on the front lines.
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they're getting help for more than 20 aircraft including water bombers. one of the biggest threats is to san francisco. it's about 200 miles away. much of the city's water supply lies in the path of that fire. nick is near the front lines of the fire and shows us what it looks like on the ground. >> reporter: it's sun has come out and given us a perspective of what firefighters are dealing with. that's not smog. that's smoke coming from the fire. on a normal week, this road would be lined with tourists. the only cars are credentialed media and those fighting the fire. this is what's left after the fire tore through here. scorched earth. most of these trees will not survive. fire officials continue to worry
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as this fire has grown tens of thousands of acres. they are hoping it doesn't further encroach on the park. today is the first day of school for the survivors of the massacre of newton. we'll tell you the measures to help them feel safe. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. celebrex can be taken with or without food. and it's not a narcotic. you and your doctor should balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen, naproxen and meloxicam
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have the same cardiovascular warning. they all may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death. this chance increases if you have heart disease or risk factors such as high blood pressure or when nsaids are taken for long periods. nsaids, like celebrex, increase the chance of serious skin or allergic reactions, or stomach and intestine problems, such as bleeding and ulcers, which can occur without warning and may cause death. patients also taking aspirin and the elderly are at increased risk for stomach bleeding and ulcers. don't take celebrex if you have bleeding in the stomach or intestine, or had an asthma attack, hives, other allergies to aspirin, nsaids or sulfonamides. get help right away if you have swelling of the face or throat, or trouble breathing. tell your doctor your medical history. and find an arthritis treatment for you. visit and ask your doctor about celebrex. for a body in motion.
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the body of a young man who apparently developed an obsession with the movie into the wild has turned up in rural oregon. it's a sad story. police are investigating jonathan's death as a suicide. his father said over the last six months the 18-year-old had shown this growing interest in the movie. it was based on the true story of a young man who leaves society to go off and live off the land in alaska and dies of starvation. he was supposed to be ledding to college in arizona, and his father got worried when he didn't show up for a week. today, is the first day of school for children in newton,
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connecticut. the town that spent months trying to recover from the second deadliest school shooting in u.s. history. that happened just last december. the school system they have heightened their security but you can imagine what the parents and some of these kids are dealing with. still a lot of pain. pamela brown spoke to the parents of two of the kids who returned to school without their youngest brother. he was killed on that tragic day. >> it's still day-to-day. we have better days than others. >> reporter: as mark as jackie and their two children, 11 and 13-year-old back to school in newtown, connecticut. it's another painful reminder of what's missing. >> this is will the first time back to school. >> reporter: daniel was one of 20 children and six educators killed during the horrific shooting spree last december. they still struggle with what were once joyous occasions.
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>> we don't know how we will deal with thanksgiving and december. all of that is coming. >> one of those big milestones is back to school. >> imagining him going to second grade. >> reporter: as the newtown school system welcomes back more than 5,000 kids today, the school board says it's doing everything it can to put families at ease. >> this is no normal back to school. >> it's not a normal back to school. we're trying to put the resources in place. >> reporter: resources like better locks on doors. realtime monitoring systems and more armed guards at every school. >> parents will definitely see armed security at each school and there will be additional guards at multiple schools. >> reporter: they say they want to see changes like more kindness toward others to make sure the tragedy that took their
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son's life never happens again. >> we have to try to do the good work he was supposed to do here. >> reporter: sandy hook elementary is being torn down and kids that were supposed to go there are heading to another elementary school. more safety changes are expected to take place in newtown schools over the course of a year but officials couldn't elaborate on what that would entail. it's not just newtown. school districts across the country are adding more armed security guards in their schools especially elementary schools. three states have passed laws to allow teachers to carry handguns on school grounds. just ahead, 50 years ago, it was the largest demonstration ever seen in nation's capital. it was the march on washington. the reverend jesse jackson shares his memories. of fans on social media can be a challenge. that's why we partnered with
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quick update on syria.
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syria's foreign minister warns against any possible military strike saying quote, syria is not easy to swallow. the white house says there's little doubt that the chemical weapons were used on a massive scale there. white house spokesman jay carney says the syrian regime is responsible. this as defense secretary chuck hagel says the u.s. is quote, ready to go, if president obama orders attacks. his comments comes days after the u.s. moved warships armed with cruise missiles into the mediterranean sea. any strike could be completed in days. meanwhile in syria, u.n. expe inspectors will not examine sites. they were turned back because of the security concerns. i have a dream. >> tomorrow marks 50 years since
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the reverend martin luther king jr. shared his vision of racial harmony. king's march on washington drew more than 200,000 people to the national mall. jesse jackson was part of dr. king's inner circle. he was in the crowd that day. he was one of dr. king's advisors. he was just 21 years old at the time and was a student leader. he's become one of the country's foremost political figures. good to see you as always. >> good to see you. >> i want to talk about that moment that day back in 1963. what was it that stood out in your mind when you were among a sea of people. did you realize what you were on the precipice. >> so much black and white interaction that was prohibited across much of the south.
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from texas across to farther up to maryland, we couldn't use a single public toilet. we could not public facilities by law. racial apartheid was enforced by law. dr. king took us to another level. it was fair to say it was in a certain climate, the speech, and a season of turmoil. this was a high mountain moment of hope. >> i want to play a bit. this is king's son. this was over the past weekend. he's talking about his father's vision and his dream. let's listen for a moment. >> we got to keep walking. we going to keep on talking. we're going to keep on voting. we're going to keep on job
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building. we're going to keep on educating. we're going to keep on mentoring. we're going to keep on community building. we're going to keep on ending violence. we're going to keep on creating peace. we ain't going to let nobody turn us around. >> it's all about keeping on. originally, that march was the march on washington for jobs and freedom. at the time black unemployment was twice that of white citizens. that figure still remains true. >> it's greater. 50 years later, we're greater but less equal. 31 cities where black joblessness above 50%. stop and create job training skills. we must not confuse president obama's role with that of dr. king.
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dr. king is in the frederick douglass line. president obama is in the abraham lincoln,roosevelt, kennedy line. he will do quite well. we need a response to the dream. we need a speech focused on legislation and appropriation. >> how does the president do that? how does he create the kind of environment where you have jobs for african-americans so you don't still see the same despairty. >> we need a commitment of the constitutional right to vote. maybe equal rights for women. a plan for reviving the war on poverty, a commitment to provide the integrity and visibility of the civil rights commission an student loan debt forgiveness.
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this is bold kind of stuff that only presidents can do. >> all right. thank you so much. good to have you as always. just ahead, housing prices are rising. that's been the case for months. we'll tell you what it means if you're thinking of buying or selling your house.
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what? customers didn't like it. so why do banks do it? hello? hello?! if your bank doesn't let you talk to a real person 24/7, you need an ally. hello? ally bank. your money needs an ally. we learn today that home prices rose in june. that's right in line with the trend of the last few months. what does it mean if you're buying or selling a home? sgr home prices are surging. they're up 12.1% year over year
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in june. strong but not quite as strong as the performance in may. the biggest gains came in areas hardest hit by the housing crisis. atlanta, las vegas, phoenix. home prices up 20 to 25% over the past year. prices in dallas and denver are hitting all time highs. san francisco home prices have enjoyed the biggest rebound. san francisco home prices rising 47% from their low back in march 2009. it's unlikely this goes on forever. already home price gains are stabilizing in many spots. rising mortgage rates are one reason. the 30-year fixed rate mortgage is up more than a percentage point to 4.6%. that might be discouraging to some buyers. mortgage rates are still low. as the housing market improves further, interest rates are bound to climb. for buyers on the fence, rates will rise further.
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it's still a good time to lock in these low r raer rates. for sellers it's a good time to list your house. there's small number of homes for sales and if good zip codes those houses are going quickly. all talk about the possible strike against syria is making the markets jittery. the dow jones average has been down about 130 points. i think to bring in alison kosik to talk about the impact of all this. this talk of potential military strike, potential war. >> you can depend on the fact if there's uncertainty about all this it's going to rattle the markets. that's what we have going on with syria. investors are on edge over the possibility of a u.s. military strike on the country. you think about the world, it's a big place but the global economy can make it feel pretty small. we're all interconnected.
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any time we have these potentially war related issues, investors will hit the sell button. it's the reason you're seeing stocks fall. you're seeing investors buy into gold and treasures. then you roll into the fact that the market was already nervous about when the federal reserve is going to be pulling back on stimulus. you factor in any type of unrest in the mideast. it adds to the anxiety. if you're looking for proof, you can see it in a certain number. it's jumping almost 11%. that measures the fear on wall street and there's definitely fear. >> we're talking about the middle east. is there any impact when it comes to oil? >> there is. we are seeing crude oil prices jump almost 3% higher. syria is not an oil giant by any means. the international energy agency
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ranks it 32nd among global producers. the concern is there could be a spillover risk if neighboring countries get involved and there's a disruption in supply. you look at iran and iraq. they're all big oil producers. prices are already relatively high because of the ongoing conflict in egypt. if we wind up seeing a ripple effect from syria, we could see prices rise even more than they already have. more than a month after the jury acquitted george zimmerman in the death of the unarmed teen, trayvon martin, he wants the state of florida to pay his legal expenses. we'll talk about that after the break. but tracking all the action and hearing everything from our marketing partners, the media and millions of fans on social media can be a challenge. that's why we partnered with hp to build the new nascar fan and media engagement center. hp's technology helps us turn millions of tweets, posts and stories into real-time business insights
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say what you like about mi lerks y miley cyrus raunchy dauns. it broke records. >> reporter: it's the performance everyone is still talking about. former disney darling miley cyrus twerking her way into infamy. all that twerking set a twitter record with more than 306,000 tweets per minute. many by celebrity. billy ray, sighrus. actress nia is worried.
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she said smilers, my vma performance has 306,000 tweets per minute. that's more than the blackout or superbowl. the parent of the tv council was not happy. they said how is this image of former child star appropriate for 14 years old. it's not clear he had anything to do with the statement. robin thicke's mom told omg she wasn't impressed by the dirty dancing. >> i think she's misbegotten in this attempt of hers. i think it was not beneficial. >> reporter: maybe all this controversy is just what miley was looking for. >> this was a calculated business and pr decision. of course it's to help her album but it's to advance her second
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career as well. e, mtv and bravo are talking to her people about a reality show right now. ahead, should florida taxpayers foot the bill for george zimmerman's legal fees? the man acquitted of murdering trayvon martin says yes. we'll talk about it, next. little bit of hummus. lonely wing... well we have got the perfect match for you. of course you can't beat the classics. delish... sabra hummus. dip life to the fullest.
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the rodeo clown fired for mocking president obama says that he has mocked other presidents in the past without anybody saying anything. well, now he is banned for life from missouri state fair. he is speaking out in his first televised interview. athena jones has his story. >> i didn't do this to do any hating on anyone. i did it to be funny. i did it to be a joke. >> reporter: it was a joke that caused an uproar. >> president obama. >> hey, he just run around acting like one doesn't mean he is one. >> reporter: this is tuffy gussling that was mocking president obama ignited controversy, an act someone called racist. this got him ban from the missouri state fair for life. now he's talking to cnn affiliate kc tv. >> i've had somebody threaten to run me over, one of them wanted to burn my house down. this clown bit has been around
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for a generation. i didn't think anything more of it than what we've done 15 years ago, ten years ago, five years ago when we've done it with bush and clinton and ronald regan. >> reporter: some conservative talk show hosts who came to his aid agreed. >> this is infantile, worse than political correctness. >> reporter: the president hasn't commented but his spokesman did. >> as a native missouri an, this isn't one of the finer moments of our state. >> reporter: now that the dust has settled, he would like to clear a few things up. i never did anything because of somebody's race. i don't care if they're blue, white, green, striped, polka dotted. >> reporter: he'll be at another rodeo coming up in missouri. >> in president obama turns out, i would be honored to shake his hand. >> reporter: a then na jones, cnn, washington. up next, george zimmerman acquitted in the killing of trayvon martin.
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well, now he is asking for taxpayers in florida to pay his legal bills. will he be successful? that up next. i'm only in my 60's... i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you.
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you are acquitted you can ask for some of the money that you spent to defend yourself. want to bring in a legal analyst, criminal defense attorney, mark james. some people might find this quite surprising that he could get some of this money and florida taxpayers will be paying to foot his legal bills. is this the standard? is this usual? >> there's a lot of confusion. the statute 939.06 under florida statutes only covers certain very limited expenses. there was a supreme court case that came out in 1937. if you won a case you could get all of your expenses. the supreme court of florida came back in '97 and said, you're only limited to certain few expenses, witness fees, sheriff's expense, clerk fees, those types of things, that's it. this attempt to get the 2 or $300,000 will fall flat and they'll get but a very small
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pittance. >> they're still working on the numbers, right? tabulating the actual numbers. how high could this go do you think? how much could he end up getting? >> well, i think that they've estimated that they have 2 or $300,000 worth of costs for their expert witnesses, for their witness fees, for all the expenses that surrounded this. remember, the state spent by estimates 8 to $900,000 and the defense is in at 2 or $300,000 from what we understand. they i think are simply barking up the wrong tree. it's understandable they'll try to get a reimbursement but the law has changed radically over the last 13 years. whereas folks were able to get their costs, pretty much all of them, i think if we see them get 10% of the 2 or $300,000, they're very lucky. they'll get a small amount. the supreme court of florida has ruled and said they're not entitled to all of it. only the statutory expenses.
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>> they can ask for the money. does the judge have to grant it? >> absolutely not. it is set up in such a way now that you have to basically go through an obstacle course to even make the request and then it gets reviewed and then it comes back. so i think that they're going to make a play to try to get it. they're going to claim that this was an improper prosecution and they'll bring up all of these equitable issues. at the end of the day this is all controlled by statute. the statute limits them. although they'll make an effort to get it, i think they're not going to see but the smallest amount, 5, maybe 10% best case. >> the verdict here, very controversial. this country very much divided over whether or not there was justice done in this case. i would imagine is the judge considering the reaction, the response of people to potentially paying for his legal fees? >> well, if i might, we're not talking about the legal fees.
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we're not talking about the attorney's fees which i think were estimated from what i read about a million dollars. these are the out-of-pocket expenses used by the defense. this judge as we saw throughout, she's very much scholarly. she's very much a student of the law. she is very strong when it comes to really following the dictate of each particular statute and the statute in this case is very clear. there is no common law which controls a reimbursement. this is all statutory. being statutory, this florida statute, 939.06 i think she'll follow it strictly as the supreme court in 91997 said she must do. if she follows the law the public opinion either side truthfully be dammed and she'll follow the law saying expenses are limited. >> when would she make that decision, mark? >> i'm sorry? >> when would she make the
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decision? how much time does she have? >> she could rule from the bench. i think we could expect a relatively quick order. i think you'll see the same here. >> thanks, mark. appreciate it. that's it for me. have a great afternoon. brianna keilar takes it from here. thank you, suzanne. i'm sitting in for brooke baldwin. the world waits as there is a strike on syria. president bashar al assad accused of using chemical warfare on his own people. the next questions, exactly how and when? today defense secretary chuck hagel told the bbc that the u.s. is ready to go. if president obama orders an attack on syria. >> well, as i said, and i think prime minister cameron has said, i think president oulan, our ovlies, partners, leaders all